It has just been announced by the board of Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Limited that Gary Paykel has decided to stand down as chairman of the company and will be replaced by Ralph Waters.
Paykel made the decision to retire from the board earlier in the year, but at that stage it was still uncertain at what time he would depart.
While he will still continue as director, Paykel has decided that now is the right time to vacate the chair, due to the fact that a cornerstone shareholder has been introduced and the renegotiation of banking arrangements and capital raising have been completed.
Ralph Waters commented that he would not hold the position of chairman in the long term, but he will stay in the role until a new CEO is appointed and the board refreshment has been completed.
Walters discussed some of the challenges that will face the company in the future.
“Beyond resolving the leadership in the very short term, the major challenge for the company within its control is to lift production rates in the Thailand and Mexico factories,” he said.
“The major issues outside of the company’s control are a recovery in the US market, which at this stage is still not in evidence, and the early signs of rises in material prices. The company is addressing these issues and has formulated plans to deal with them and progress is encouraging.”
Walters acknowledged Gary Paykel and his career with the company, which is now approaching 50 years. Walters expressed that although he is exiting as chairman, he will still play a vital role as a non-executive director.